Saturday, October 26, 2013

My cup runneth over.

"But Ruth replied, 'Don't urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.'" Ruth 1: 16-17

Today is the day.
My heart is so grateful.

Jesus Christ, I invite You to be the center of our marriage, today and forever. May our marriage be one focused on You, focused on heaven. When others see what You have done in our lives, may they be reminded of Your great love for us and what is to come, when we become Your Bride. Lord, we love because of what you have done on the cross.

In Christ,
Gabby

Saturday, October 19, 2013

His way is perfect.

As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord's word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.
Psalm 18:30

When I was young, I dreamt of getting married, living in my hometown with my husband and children, having my parents and his parents only five minutes away, having a job from 8am-4pm (while my children were at school), having my brothers and sister and their families in the same town, celebrating holidays and birthdays together, dinner on Friday nights with all of them...the same type of family that my parents, grandparents and great-grandparents built.

God definitely has other plans for me.

The way has been difficult. I haven't slept much, I've laughed much, and I've cried much.

In a week, after the wedding and the honeymoon, we will say good-bye to my family and friends and we will fly directly to his hometown, our new home. 

Good, better, different, sometimes-I-don't-understand-why, perfect plans. 

Filled with His goodness,
Gabby


Friday, October 11, 2013

The Bride Wore...Off-White :: Is 'saving yourself' for marriage worth it? :: My Journey (Part 3)

(NOTE: I'll make this testimony into a series-ish. I'll (try to) post every Friday leading up to our wedding. So much I am called to share. So, stayed tuned! This is mainly targeted towards women, but...are you a guy? HEY! Welcome! Also, this is my experience. I am in no way condemning other women/men who chose and did otherwise. Don't worry, I will be as tactful as possible and not embarrass you by any sort of non-professional language. Please be respectful to others. I am head-over-heels excited to hear, err read, your thoughts! You can comment or email me if you would like. This testimony is full of how the grace-filled Gospel worked in me, and this is my act of worship.)






When I graduated from high school, I left all that I knew in pursue of a carreer. It was so difficult leaving my parents, my siblings, my family, my town...everything. Despite it being difficult, there was something, a newfound freedom, per se, that I was excited to experience.

I soon discovered it was up to me to decide on everything...what I chose to wear, what to eat, to exercise or not, to study or not, to go to class or stay in bed, to go to church or not, etc.

That first year of college was quite the experience. As for school, I was doing great. I had joined a great Catholic parish located at the university and was a eucharistic minister. I was also in a decaying relationship and I had many new friends. 

My relationship partner came visit me once in a while in college, but the interest shown was less than what I expected/wanted. I had given my heart to this guy already, he knew everything there was about me...I felt the end was close. As I already mentioned, he never, ever, pressured me to have sex with him. However, one day, I was very close to "give it up" just to "save" our relationship. I confess I bought contraception...just in case. Yes, I was afraid I could get pregnant at that time. Yes, I knew what God wanted from me. I didn't pray about it too much because I knew what God would say, yet, saving my relationship was the logical thing to do. However, that very day I had planned on giving it up... I decided not to, even if it meant breaking up. I cried for many nights (later on, we did break up). Wasn't he the guy God wanted me to marry? I was sure he was THE ONE. I certainly didn´t trust God in this area of my life and I wanted to control the situation.

I made a vow to never, ever, under any circumstances, pursue a guy first.

I wasn't sure if I was in a relationship or not, but in my standard, I was still committed to him. There were many distractions, though. One of them included a guy who showed more than a friendly interest in me. He was handsome, he pursued me first, he was smart, he was hard working...everything a girl could want in a guy. One particular instance with this guy has been on my mind ever since it happened. We were walking out of the library after studying for an exam, and he offered to walk me to the building where my dorm was located (it was really late at night). As we were approaching the door, he said he needed to talk to me about something important. The guy mentioned that he knew he was pursuing me and "leading me on" and he could feel that I was interested, too. At that moment I realized something: I was not keeping a good guard on my mind, heart and body, again! I was flirting. I wasn't treating him as friend.

Then, the guy gave me the "I really like you, but..." talk.

I really like you.
You are such a nice girl.
You are everything a guy would want in a girlfriend.
(Insert conversation I don´t recall).

However.

We can't keep this going. (Keep what going? Yeah, he thought I liked him, too.)
You are too good (as in goody two-shoes) for me.
You are the type of girl you want your mom to meet.

I can't be in a relationship with a girl who is not willing to have sex with me (He had asked about my standards prior to this conversation).
I don't want to be your first one.
You deserve a guy who is waiting for you, too, and who loves you.
He will be so lucky.

I didn't know what to say. However, I felt a sense of peace about the situation. I told him I was so grateful for his honesty.

Besides school, nothing major happened during my second year of college, until summer, that is, when the guy I was in a relationship with finally said good-bye for ever (A Love Story). I was confused. I was depressed. I was broken. Many times I wondered if sex would have saved our relationship. Made it more intimate? Find out if we had sexual chemistry?

Later during the year, I really spoke to God for the first time. I was involved with the church, but I didn't have a relationship with Him. I began to think more and more into what I was really being called to be and do with my life.

I researched.
I prayed.
I read about "purity". I place quotation marks because I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there.
I was introduced to the idea of "purity pledges" and "purity rings" (never took it/had it).
I looked online to see if I was the only girl with crazy ideas...and that is when I met you (blogs/communities).

Was he really calling me all this time to "save myself", in every way, for my (future) husband? BUT HOW, GOD? I AM EVERYTHING BUT PURE! I AM EVERYTHING BUT LILY WHITE! My heart was filthy, my mind was full of anxiety. Yes, technically I still hadn't had sex, but I had kept my body everything but sacred. I am a failure. Who am I, Lord?

Were all of these past experiences whispers of His plan for me and what was to come?

Then something happened.
He got rid of all of my excuses. He showed me He was my reedemer. He showed me Someone had paid for my sins already. His grace started taking over my life, radically transforming me once and for all.

For the first (real) time, I chose to follow Him. Even if it meant mockery because of my choices. Even if it meant embarrasment. Even if He chose not to fulfill my dreams. Even if guys ran away from me and He called me to be single for.ever.

In the middle of all that, Greg and I crossed our paths.

. . .

Stay tuned for Part 4 (after the wedding), the last one, I promise! :-) I couldn't post these past two Fridays because I am in the middle of wedding planning and moving. The hiatus is over, though!

Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. Song of Solomon 2:7

In Christ,
Gabby


Thursday, October 10, 2013

5K +1 Run!

This past weekend, I went home to spend some time with my family, attend a friend's wedding and to help out with wedding planning. It was an exhausting, but fun weekend!

One of the doctors' in my town is planning on building a hospital centered around treating cancer. As a fundraiser, he planned a 5K + 1 run (which, due to a mistake, we ran a total of 8.5K).

My dad, brother and I ran and my mom and cousins ran a rest stop, giving out bottles of water and oranges.

I captured some pictures with my phone, since I couldn't run with my camera.

Ready to run!


 People would post who they were running for, etc. 



There were school groups on bicycles, too!




It was a beautiful, cold, clear morning (we were there at 0730)!

I've been really, really busy. Thus, my lack of blogging.
How is your life lately?

Only 16 days until the wedding! 

Love,
Gabby